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Book Reviews

Science? Oh God!


Haven’t been reading much except for the one book I wish I hadn’t started. I had no idea how facile his arguments could be or I’d never have bought the book. “The Science of God” is based on denying any scientific fact the author can safely refuse to accept and where he cannot do so, he twists either the facts or the bible or both to match. I mean, he actually expects me to believe that the people who wrote the bible in antiquity (actually by the latest estimates, not earlier than 600-800 BCE) knew about the Theory of Relativity and how time changes relative to velocity and how old the universe really is. He claims that the six days of creation described in Genesis are equable to the 15 billion odd years since the Big Bang! I mean, come on!!!!!

And he goes on and on, denying evolution one second and accepting it the next, taking parts of it that suit his fancy and discarding what he does not like. So dinosaurs existed, but humans and apes didn’t have common ancestors, or maybe God was driving forward human evolution much faster than possible by natural means. Of course, all the miracles he performed in Exodus were so planned so that they didn’t seem ‘unnatural’. So why not make our genetic structure so that the ‘required number of mutations for human evolution’ (his words) could have occurred in the time frame available (for that is his biggest criticism of evolution, apparently there was not much time available)? Didn’t his god know that sooner or later we’d be asking these questions and his ‘work’ as it were would be laid bare? Or was that too part of his divine plan? Needless to say, he doesn’t even begin to make sense. Some questions he puts are valid ones, like the Cambrian explosion, but I don’t agree to his hypothesis that since they are unexplained phenomena, they point to the existence of god. What if science does answer his question? Will that mean god no longer exists?

What he says about the alleged ‘missing links’ is pure nonsense. There are a number of species where gradual evolution is seen to occur and if you close your eyes and refuse to accept facts, I really can’t help you. As for human evolution, we feel happy labeling some fossilized bones here and there as Homo habilis or Homo ergaster and so on, but if we really took our ancestry back from ‘modern’ humans back to them, there would be an unbroken line from them to us; with every generation related closely to the one before and the one after and no clear distinguishing boundaries between them.

His six days of Genesis = 15 billion years of the universe is a truly fantastic hypothesis. Apart from what he expects our ancient ancestors to know about advanced physics (and without the aid of any modern equipment etc.) he conveniently forgets that the 6 day work week with one day off was an invention of the Sumerians who predate the bible. They counted in sixes and as far as I’m aware no other major civilization did that. We get the 60 second/minute cycle from them, as also the 360 degrees in a circle and so forth. But that’s a digression.

In the latest chapter I’m reading, he claims all ‘humans’ before Adam came on the scene were animals in the sense that they lacked the ‘soul’ that god breathed into Adam. Of course this happened only 6000 years ago, so before that Homo sapiens were brutes and then suddenly became ‘human’. Of course he forgets to mention that culture, a defining quality of humans had existed in the form of art and technology and even maybe, a rudimentary religion for a few thousands of years before that.

I haven’t finished that chapter yet so I’m waiting on tenterhooks to see how he explains that Adam was afraid and lonely, and how god fashioned Eve from his rib…..


About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.


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